Egypt successfully hosted the first e-commerce summit in the Middle East to deliberate on the future of the business landscape in the region.
The event’s organiser is leading tech agency, Robusta, targeting retail groups, corporates in different sectors, industries, brands, and supporting and complementary functions ranging from payments and logistics to branding and advertising.
The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat delivered a speech at the closing session of the summit which included 13 panel discussions and 21 one-on-one sessions.
The event was attended by over 80 speakers from more than 15 different industrial sectors, in the presence of over 2,500 international participants and market leaders.
The summit discussed the Egyptian market’s potential to become one of the leading markets in the field of e-commerce. Local statistics show that the number of Internet users in Egypt reached 39.6 million in April, amid rapid growth of mobile phone users, leading to an increase in e-commerce platforms.
The summit additionally addressed the future trends of e-commerce in Egypt and its impact on international markets, focusing on business transactions over the Internet. Since the launch of Amazon Business in 2015, the market has been constantly evolving, attracting more than 1 million customers, according to Forbes.
Studies refer that 42% of B2B online customers are millennials, which pushes for creating more payment solutions.
Robusta’s Managing Director, Hussein Mohieldin, commented on the launch of the event stating, “the e-commerce summit is a starting point for the Egyptian market for development through digital transformation.” He added, “this event has received significant support from retail market leaders in an attempt to develop e-commerce. We hope this summit becomes an annual destination for retailers to explore e-commerce solutions, the latest trends, and innovations and future technologies transforming the retail market in the MENA region.”
Mohieldin pointed out that the summit’s objectives come in line with the Egyptian government’s strategies embodied in the efforts of the Ministry of Communication to support digitisation and e-commerce. He praised the recent government initiatives which boosted this endeavour, such as the e-commerce strategy, where it cooperated with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and a number of international organisations.
The Egyptian government also developed the institutional framework which helps to improve the business environment, as well as conducting some legislative amendments, such as consumer protection, e-crime, and data protection laws. The summit participants noted that the companies that digitised their operations recorded a 26% increase in profits.
They added that only 58% of companies that adopted digitisation and e-commerce strategies, have online transactions.
The summit also included the Robusta Start-up Challenge, organised by Falak, a start-up accelerator designed to support Egyptian entrepreneurs. The challenge witnessed the participation of 10 companies which presented 10 promising ideas. The winning company was “Kiliim,” which received a $10,000 prize to finance their idea.